Dubai sells stake in Nasdaq OMX to repay debt

December 17, 2010 12:00 am

, DUBAI, Dec 17 – Borse Dubai, a majority stake-holder of Dubai Financial Market, has sold a 672 million-dollar share of its stake in Nasdaq OMX to help repay a 2.45 billion-dollar loan that matures in February.

The company sold 22.78 million shares for 497 million dollars to Nasdaq OMX itself, and eight million shares worth 175 million dollars to Nomura, it said in a statement carried by local media on Friday.

Borse Dubai, owned by the Dubai government holding group Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), also raised 428 million dollars through a three-year loan arranged by Nomura and government-owned Emirates NBD bank for the repayment of the same loan.

It said it reached an agreement with its existing banking group to complete the refinancing of the remaining portion of the 2.45 billion-dollar loan which matures by the end of February.

The Financial Times said Friday that Borse Dubai was forced into a quick sale as the maturity date of its loan loomed while it failed to conclude a strategic sale of its assets.

"We are very pleased to have completed this refinancing and to have partially de-leveraged and partially extended the term of Borse Dubai’s facility for a further three years," ICD chief executive Mohammed al-Shaibani said in the statement.

"Borse Dubai remains a committed, long-term shareholder of Nasdaq OMX and by entering into these transactions it has been able to achieve its financing objectives while retaining substantial economic interest in Nasdaq OMX," he said.

He pointed out that Borse Dubai "remains the single largest shareholder of Nasdaq OMX."

Borse Dubai had acquired a 28-percent stake in Nasdaq OMX in 2008 through a deal in which it sold its then recently acquired Nordic and Baltic stock exchange operator OMX to the US exchange, Nasdaq.

It also holds a stake of about 20 percent in the London Stock Exchange and a one-third stake in Nasdaq Dubai, with DFM holding the other two thirds.

The deal comes after Dubai announced it might sell some of its assets in order to repay debt piled during five years of economic boom.


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